Report: Teams Are Keeping Eye on Players Before They Take Drug Tests
Major league teams are discreetly monitoring players during the period between when they are notified they must take a drug test and when they provide a urine sample, according to the New York Times.
The procedure was instituted in July 2005 and covers a period that can be up to several hours, the paper reported on its Web site last night.
“Players may not be aware they’re under observation, but we’re watching,” MLB Executive Vice President Rob Manfred was quoted as saying. “It doesn’t mean we tell them we’re watching.”
Three general managers are monitors, along with 18 assistant GMs, 4 vice presidents and 4 directors of baseball operations. The title of the other wasn’t disclosed.
“There is absolutely no evidence that a player scheduled for a test is left unattended for a period of time that permits him to defeat the purposes of the test,” Gene Orza, the chief operating officer of the players’ association, was quoted as saying in an e-mail message. “From the moment the player is designated for a test, he is under observation by the team coordinator.”
Gary Wadler of the World AntiDoping Agency was critical of baseball’s procedures, which allow players notified for testing earlier in the day up to an hour after that day’s game to provide samples.
“If a guy can’t do it, he comes back in an hour?” Wadler was quoted as saying. “Give me a break. They should say that he will be chaperoned from the moment of notification. It shouldn’t even be 30 seconds later.” K RED SOX: Jimmy Rollins is a believer in Dice-K and the mysterious gyroball.
“It’s a funky pitch, it definitely is,” said Rollins, the Philadelphia Phillies’ all-star shortstop. “It’s something new in America.”
Well, get ready America. Here comes Matsuzaka mania.
Daisuke Matsuzaka struck out seven over four shaky innings and the Boston Red Sox beat the Phillies, 7-5, in Philadelphia. The Japanese star will make his first regular season start Thursday at Kansas City.
“I didn’t feel particularly nervous, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to throw in a big league park before the beginning of the season,” Matsuzaka said through an interpreter.
He gave up three runs, four walks and two hits. Then he grinned after a lengthy question was asked in Japanese about the start of the season. His two-word answer: “I’m ready.” K PIRATES: Infielder Freddy Sanchez, last season’s NL batting champion, was placed on the 15day disabled list and will miss at least four games.
Sanchez hasn’t played in a major league spring game since he sprained his right medial collateral ligament turning a double play March 6. He played in minor league games Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but said his swing still isn’t where he wants it to be. K DIAMONDBACKS: Arizona placed pitcher Randy Johnson on the 15day disabled list.
Johnson, who is returning from offseason back surgery, is scheduled to make three minor league starts before joining the Diamondbacks’ rotation in the third week of April. K TWINS: Joe Mauer returned to Minnesota’s lineup following a leg injury, and the Twins completed spring training by beating the Pirates, 6-4, in Fort Meyers, Fla.
Minnesota’s catcher had been out since March 22 with a stress reaction in his left leg, a precursor to a stress fracture. He hit a threerun double in the third.